Shell’s electric dreams

In an interview with the Financial Times, Shell has stated that it has to become a major electricity company.

Such a move is not surprising, given the opposition to fossil fuels and the previous moves made by oil companies (most particularly Shell, Total, Repsol and BP) to become more diverse energy suppliers.

However, the pace of change that Shell envisages is considerable, with Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s director of gas and new energies, telling the Financial Times that its aim to be the electricity company by the 2030s.

In a mixed model of generation, supply, storage, trading and equipment the target would be to create an entity that matches the existing oil and gas business, and Wetselaar sees that lack of existing actual generating equipment such as power stations as a way to leapfrog competitors.

The news follows the recent acquisition of sonnen, a manufacturer of smart residential storage systems using a decentralised and connected residential storage system. “sonnen is one of the global leaders in smart, distributed energy storage systems and has a track record of customer-focused innovation. Full ownership of sonnen will allow us to offer more choice to customers seeking reliable, affordable and cleaner energy,” Mark Gainsborough, executive vice president New Energies at Shell, said at the time of purchase.

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